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Auto burglars strike 17 cars in two days

Original post made on Sep 7, 2012

Auto burglars smashed windows in 17 vehicles in the past two days, making off with computer bags, laptops, electronic equipment and personal documents, Palo Alto police announced Friday afternoon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 7, 2012, 5:48 PM

Comments (37)

Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

More police please..

Posted by Lock It and Lose It, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

More advice please!

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Longer prison terms please.

Posted by Katie, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Just stay away from garages and stay away from downtown Palo Alto in the evenings.

Posted by More cops, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

We need more cops on the streets.

Posted by easy come, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 7, 2012 at 11:03 pm

less possessions, please

Posted by Really?, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 8, 2012 at 12:17 am

Too much city feel and crime in palo alto. I might move to Los altos. How is the crime in la?

Posted by susan, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 8, 2012 at 8:07 am

Los Altos is an excellent alternative. Clean cute downtown, no homeless and zero crime. Good friends of ours live there and love it.

Posted by Some Guy, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

Bait cars would be a good start me thinks.

Posted by Adam, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

11 broken windows in the Stanford Mall parking lot is ridiculous. They need to up their security/surveillance.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Sounds like criminals were observing and casing - how do they do this without appearing they have business attire on? just wondering

Posted by Anymouse, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

@Anonymous Duveneck/St. Francis:

See the article --

Yes, what is going on? I read the article on PA ONLINE about the woman walking by Nieman's at Stanford last week. I was just at Stanford Mall Thursday, and saw in plain view, (without myself even thinking to look), a video camera with a sign stating these premises are being electronically monitored. I can only think she was not within camera range?

With the Shreve watch theif, the theive(s) that followed a businessman to his car taking his valuables, (2-3 months ago), all at STANFORD MALL, sounds like they do not have surveillance.

I recall 3 years ago, talking with my mother, she said to me that she thought within month Palo Alto would be a prime spot for burglaries. And, so it is, let's all NOT LET IT keep happening. We aren't in the same city any longer, it is time to look around at your surroundings and be prepared.

I have called 9-1-1 when I believe I see something suspicious. The PAPD advises this, too.

Posted by Bob, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm

And now there is the extremely upsetting daylight home burglary this morning, Saturday 9/8, on Edgewood Drive. Is the Creek an escape route??

Posted by Sad but true, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm

The criminals aren't stupid, they read the news and know palo alto police have cut staffing just like san jose police has.san jose has seen an uptick in crime Web Link just like palo alto has. Both departments advertise how succesful criminals are (San Jose advertises hwo many miurders gang members can commit while Palo Alto tells the press just how many burglaries they can't stop from happening.) So all criminal have to do is go where there are relativley few poilce officers.

Posted by moi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Doesn't the word "burglar" imply a certain level of silence and/or finesse?

These sound more like smash-and-grabs.

Posted by really?, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Sep 9, 2012 at 4:03 am

put camera on entry/exit ways! that way you can at least have a suspect list!

Posted by Joan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2012 at 6:29 am

Start by registering all the gold dealers and pawn shops in California, put up those security cameras at Palo Alto exits and in neighborhoods. This city blows away money like it 'grows on trees' on unneeded projects and big developer $$$ but IT HAS FORGOTTEN WHO LIVES HERE AND PAYS THE BILLS. Wake up,City Hall!!! And stop whining about the civil liberties of these perps. We residents have civil liberties too- the right to live in our homes without twenty-four hour fear.

Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

and another daylight burglary - this time on Center. Glad we have an arborist..

Posted by Bob, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Yes, and and then there is a public relations/advice person for Utilities and another expensive 'manager' to straighten out the Planning Department, and on and on. We need police and we need them now. Maybe we need 'mutual aid'.......We need rain to close down the Creek and a Council that seems to 'care' about the people out in the neighborhoods.
More burglaries today.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Mr. Recycle -there was also another burglary on Edgewood today.

Posted by res, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2012 at 1:01 am

I'm just curious how in this day and age anyone can get away with stealing a laptop. And hasn't it dawned on the criminals yet why the Palo Alto police are making busts of stolen iPads in San Jose and Oakland?lo

Posted by Hope they find them, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2012 at 8:28 am

I hope they locate the devices and nab the perps. Stopping crime should be city hall's top priority right now.

Posted by Midtown Mama, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

My car has a key to lock the trunk release. That could have saved many of those stolen laptops!

Posted by David Pepperdine, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

Don't look to the City Council to fix this.

They don't live in the world of potholes, broken streets, street drainage issues, and neighborhood crime.

They see themselves as the Royal Board, which oversees the CEO (aka City Manager), sets policy, etc. They're more concerned with sister city relationships, and Palo Alto's great image as a unique, progressive, green city. And all that bunk.

Posted by longtimeresident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

Here's an idea: Hide or take your laptops! Most of these crimes were preventable.

Posted by JC, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I can see why the location may be a crime target for some, but the reason why the town is a desired location to live in is because of the quiet peaceful nature, the access to downtown and the schools. Take two of these 3 things away and we have a problem.
Being tough on crime through a combination of good prevention techniques and presence/follow up of police is important. (Stanford Mall security is a joke. Do these guys look like a deterrent?)

More video cameras really can have a positive effect on cutting down crime, providing that the follow up is effective. We pay a lot of taxes in PA. I dont think its unreasonable to have an effective crime prevention solution and that is going to require a comprehensive approach that does not require this to get worse before action is taken.

Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Police need to be dispatched by cell phone, not by radio. All these guys have scanners and are long gone by the time the police arrive.
Also I have called the dispatcher reporting an obvious thief casing cars in our parking garage, followed him and watched him go to his car in an adjacent parking lot after decoying through another building courtyard in our complex. I didn't know the address of the building he was parked at(I was on the back side of the building), and he zoomed right out of the parking lot right in front of my son and I, and was long gone before the dispatcher stopped asking me questions. I took a pic with my cell but it was dark and blurry. I was amazed at the incompetence of the dispatcher.

Posted by Comments , a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

JC - The city cut PAPD's crime prevention unit years ago so there won't be any comprehensive crime prevention programs like you suggest. As far as your request for a strong police presence and follow-up there is an issue with that. The City will likely audit the police department as they did to the fire department and cut staffing because the "police presence and follow up" you noted doesn't generate stats to the city's auditor therefore they will see that as empty time. Empty time is seen as a waste by auditor and can justify them cutting police staff. Unlike the fire department, police officers spend time patrolling for crime, and their mere presence can deter crime. I hope the auditor understands that because if not there will be even less cops on the street soon.

Steve C- Sounds like a very frustrating situation. Just an FYI though, while the 911 call taker is asking you questions, another dispatcher has in most cases already dispatched officers assuming there were any available officers to respond. The same thing happens if you call about a choking person. The call taker gives you instructions and another dispatcher dispatches and talks to the emergency responders.

Posted by Diane, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Palo Alto is slowly losing its appeal. Lots and lots of robberies and burglaries, huge oversized ugly buildings being built, lots of homeless people aggressively pandhandling, dirty downtown sidewalks, money being wasted at city hall, the prospect of a high speed rail cutting PA in half, etc. The city is slowly killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Posted by Bummed, a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I agree with Diane.
When i moved here 5 years ago, a local friend was proudly sharing a story how he forgot a briefcase on top of his car (in downtown), went to lunch, and when came back, the briefcase was still there. It seems nowadays it would get stolen immediately. PA is becoming a ghetto.

Other thing that irritates me to no end are the hobos living in dirty RVs and trucks full of junk along PA streets for weeks and months at a time. So much for fancy Palo Alto. It's a shame.

Posted by edii, a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

too many cops patrolling. just check em out. a cxop everywhere spying on people. gestapo characteristics

Posted by moi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Stanford Shopping Center needs security cameras in the parking lots. Otherwise, how bad it will be in December?

And their landscaping has gone downhill to the point that it looks shabby. They used to win awards every year but not lately.

Surely they must have enough money to take care of these things. I expect to look out my windshield and see Sears, not Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.

Posted by robit noops, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

Palo Alto hasn't been a quiet neighborhood in years. I have had construction within blocks for the last 3-5 years. Thankfully, I dont go to Stanford shopping center anymore, I find it gross and tacky. Moving is on my intermediate 5 year plan, the way the govnt. here works, this place is only going to get worse.

Posted by susan, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 11, 2012 at 9:19 am

Palo Alto is a big urban city now, not the sleepy burg it used to be. With that growth comes problems like the homeless, crime and tons of traffic. Worth re-evaluating whether we want to stay here anymore. Plenty of our friends have left for Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. We may be next!!

Posted by paco, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm Palo Alto becomes a high crime city, we can rest assured that city manager keene and councilmember klein have a plan to stop the exodus of veteran police officers. Maybe a full time police chief would help restore moral, doubtful, since keene and klein have created the perfect storm in reasons to leave Palo Alto. Maybe The Weekly could chime in why crime is so high with their catchy phrases like "unsustainable", "ticking time bomb", "ballooning benefits" etc..... Once you let the press and politicians run the city, all structured government collapses. Blame yourselfs for being ignorant.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

It seems that much of the residential crime in in neighborhoods with very easy access to 101. Its much easier to break in to a house and get on the highway. Any suggestions for deterring this?

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Yes, palo alto mom - lock up your stuff. If your trunk can be unlatched from the inside of your car, don't leave items of value in it.

The 280 corridor has the same problem, but w/residential burglaries. Or is that what you're referring to - not auto burglaries? As inconvenient as it is, I don't leave my laptop in my vehicle.

The problem w/a small paper like this w/a hyper-local focus is that readers aren't always aware of the larger patterns of crime. These types of crimes are partially convenience-based & happen where there's a high density of autos.

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